In their initial endorsement of Barack Obama in 2008, the editors of the Washington Post concluded:
Mr. Obama’s temperament is unlike anything we’ve seen on the national stage in many years. He is deliberate but not indecisive; eloquent but a master of substance and detail; preternaturally confident but eager to hear opposing points of view. He has inspired millions of voters of diverse ages and races, no small thing in our often divided and cynical country. We think he is the right man for a perilous moment.
I never saw these qualities in the candidate. I’m not convinced that the editors of the Washington Post saw them either. But he was their ideal candidate, so they projected the qualities that they’d ascribe to an ideal candidate onto Barack Obama whether or not he really demonstrated them. How do I know that this glowing description is phony?
I know it from the Washington Post’s endorsement of President Obama for a second term this past October.
Mr. Obama alienated Congress and business leaders by isolating himself inside a tight White House circle that manages to be both arrogant and thin-skinned. Too often his administration treats business as an obstacle rather than a partner.
The descriptions “arrogant and thin-skinned” contradict “master of substance and detail” as well “eager to hear opposing points of view.” But the editors, in no way acknowledge that their earlier characterization was wrong. In fact their primary concern for the 2012 election was:
MUCH OF THE 2012 presidential campaign has dwelt on the past, but the key questions are who could better lead the country during the next four years — and, most urgently, who is likelier to put the government on a more sound financial footing.
Even as they acknowledged President Obama’s flaws and his inability to work constructively with Congress, the editors of the Washington Post endorsed him primarily for his supposed ability to right the country’s financial situation! But those flaws, as we are now seeing is what made the President ill suited to that task.
One person who’s noted these flaws has been Bob Woodward of the Washington Post. For his troubles, he’s been bullied.
“Very senior person” at White House emailed Bob Woodward “you’re going to regret doing this,” says Woodward live now on @cnn.
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) February 27, 2013
There’s that arrogance and thin-skinned-ness again.
President Obama has benefitted from a compliant media. who created a myth. As we see from the Washington Post’s second endorsement, even once the myth was shattered, the media still supported and shilled for him. The contrast to its treatment of Republicans generally, especially the previous President, is striking.
I’m sure that Bob woodward appreciates the irony.
[WAJ note — this was originally published at about 8:15. I then made a mistake and thinking I was scheduling another post for 10 a.m. actually ended up scheduling this for 10 a.m. which had the result of removing it from publication for a while. That was not my intent, it was just an error.]